What’s for Dinner: Chinese Pork and Rice
At the Sewing Machine: Those blackout curtains
On the Scrapbook Table: A mess to be cleared away this weekend
One of my dearest friends and I were talking today and I've been mulling the discussion over ever since: How much of our children's behavior should we accept as normal or a phase, and when do we need to step in and halt the ugly in its tracks. Specifically, that lovely pre-teen female eye rolling, glaring looks, and other forms of rebellion with which we are familiar and may have adopted a time or two in our own youth (or so I've heard). Tune into any sitcom, and the children usually treat their parents as nothing more than a doormat. The putdowns fly without consequences for their behavior. The world has accepted this as normal, and raising children is something to be endured, not enjoyed. This is exactly what Satan wants us to think.
If we are raising children for the glory of God, we need to help them obey the fifth commandment to honor their mother and father. How do we do this when everything inside us is screaming "Wipe that look off your face, or I'll do it for you!?" Proper training for obedience early on certainly gets everyone going in the right direction. However, more than anything, having the child's heart will prevent so much of the angst. Spending time with them in meaningful fellowship will do so much more than a lecture on expected behavior. The child that is driving you the most crazy is the one that needs your attention the most. Don't send them away to think about what they've done, said, etc. Pull them right into your life and what you are doing at the moment.
Emelie and I enjoy cooking together. Preparing meals for 32 plates a day (as she likes to point out) gives us ample opportunity to be in the kitchen together. It is also a wonderful opportunity to practice serving others and putting the needs of others ahead of our own (even when she does have a new horse magazine to look at). When our children serve others, it forces the focus off themselves and the fit they might be throwing. Not to mention the sense of self-worth they comes from being truly needed to keep the family running smoothly.
When the behavior starts heading downhill around here, although it's so tempting to start blaming the children, I need to try to remember to examine my own behavior. Have I spent meaningful time with them lately? Have I been available to listen to their stories? Have I been praising them or only seeing their shortcomings?
As I'm standing near the edge of that unknown precipice of the teen years, I pray that my children's hearts are knit to Bryan's and mine. Only with God's help can we train up our children in the way they should go, so when they grow up they will not depart from it.
This beautiful girl doesn't know the meaning of the word disrespect!